March 1, 2014

Samuels Helps Break Two School Records on Friday to Highlight Women's Indoor Track and Field at New England Championships

BOSTON, Mass. – Seeded No. 1 overall of all the New England competitors in the 400m dash, sophomore Shameal Samuels (Hartford, Conn.) certainly didn't disappoint as she helped break two school records and advanced to the 400m finals in Friday's action for Quinnipiac women's indoor track and field at the New England Championships. Samuels torched the competition in the 400m preliminaries and combined with three others to break the school record time in the distance medley relay to highlight the Bobcats' action in day one of the two day New England Championships from the Boston Univ. Track Center.

"The girls were really phenomenal today and I really like the way they all competed out there in a Championship meet," said Quinnipiac women's indoor track and field head coach Carolyn Martin. "So many of our girls came out and ran new personal records and to see them performing on the level they are this late into the season shows the hard work is starting to pay off. We all can't wait to see what they can do out there tomorrow."

Samuels continues to pick it up towards the end of the season as she bested her previous school record by nearly a full two-tenths of a second as she ran the 400m dash preliminary in 55.08 seconds. After just picking up a school record time of 55.26 seconds a week ago at the MAAC Championships, Samuels earned the No. 1 seed heading into the New England Championships and certainly proved any doubters wrong as she tore apart her previous program record. She now advances to the 400m finals tomorrow afternoon with the fastest preliminary time of any competitor as the next-closest finisher was a full .47 seconds behind Samuels in the overall standings.

Samuels and a host of other Bobcats including sophomore classmates Chelsea Savage (Pembroke, Mass.) and Tracy Campbell (Wall Township, N.J.) along with junior Katy Petrie (Cranston, R.I.) later combined to break the school record in the distance medley relay with a time of 11:46.92. The milestone achievement helped the Bobcats earn 5th place out of 22 teams to pick up four points in the overall team leaderboard. The group of four Bobcats' time broke the previous school record established just last year by a full 12.14 seconds.

Senior Brianna Faust (Macungie, Pa.) contributed with one point on Friday as she finished with a personal best time of 17:39.23 in the 5000m to finish in 8th place and pick up the point for the Bobcats in the overall team standings. Sophomore Kristina Kethchum (Foxborough, Mass.) also ran in the 5k and finished with a personal best time of 19:21.64.

Junior Becca Stabile (Haverhill, Mass.) moved into the 500m dash finals with a time of 1:15.84 as she will carry a lot of energy into the finals tomorrow, finishing with the third-fastest time on Friday among all the preliminary runners. Stabile is seeded No. 2 overall out of all the New England runners in the 500m crowd and will look to claim the top spot among the region's group of competitors on Saturday.

Freshman sensation Bonnie Pisciotta (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) was at it again on Friday as she matched her own program record established just last week in the 60m dash as she clocked in at 7.91 seconds. Her time was good enough for 13th in a crowded field as she finished with the third-best time among all freshmen in the event and the fourth-best among all the underclassmen combined. Pisciotta also shaved .20 seconds off her personal best time in the 200m dash as she finished with a time of 25.76 seconds in the event on Friday.

Rounding out the day for Quinnipiac was a host of personal bets as the Bobcats' entire group of 800m runners all tallied personal records with their performances on Friday. Senior Val Zielinski (Hackettstown, N.J.) led the way with a PR of 2:20.71 in the 800m while graduate student Christine Donnelly (Philadelphia, Pa.) picked up a PR of 2:21.73 and freshman Emma Johnson (Metuchen, N.J.) also earned a new PR with a time of 2:24.44. Sophomore Nia Baker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) joined the list of Bobcats establishing new PRs as she crossed the line with a time of 58.87 seconds in the 400m while freshman Cori Reid (Old Saybrook, Conn.) also ran a new PR with a time of 1:18.36 in the 500m.

Quinnipiac will look to make their mark in the 400m and 500m finals as Samuels and Stabile will both look to finish atop the leaderboard. The Bobcats also have runners slated in the one mile run, 3000m, 4 x 400m and 4 x 800m relay on Saturday in the final day of competition at the New England Championships.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu